Azarenka to resume rivalry with Rybakina at Miami Open

Victoria Azarenka’s quest for a fourth Miami Open title gained momentum as she secured a hard-fought victory over Yulia Putintseva, setting up a semi-final clash with Elena Rybakina.

The Belarusian, seeded 27th, battled for nearly three hours to overcome Putintseva with a 7-6 (7-4) 1-6 6-3 win, enduring a 45-minute delay in the opening set due to a power outage.

Meanwhile, world number four Rybakina advanced to the semi-finals by defeating Greek eighth seed Maria Sakkari 7-5 6-7 (4-7) 6-4.

Rybakina, the highest-ranked player left in the tournament, aims to go one step further this year after finishing as the runner-up in the 2021 final.

Reflecting on her grueling victory, Rybakina expressed her elation, stating, “I have no words because I’m so tired but I’m really happy with the win.”

The Kazakh showcased resilience during the match, ultimately clinching the win with a single break of serve in the third set.

In Azarenka’s match, the 34-year-old veteran demonstrated her fighting spirit by saving three set points before claiming the first-set tiebreak against Putintseva.

Despite a dominant performance by Putintseva in the second set, Azarenka rallied in the decider, securing her spot in the semi-finals with a determined display.

As the competition intensifies, American Jessica Pegula is set to face Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova, while Caroline Garcia of France will take on American Danielle Collins in the upcoming matches, promising more thrilling tennis action in the Miami Open.

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